The UK Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with Rafael Defense Systems to conduct trials of the TROPHY Active Protection System (APS) in the scope of the CHALLENGER 3 programme. According to the MoD, the £4.5M (€5.3M) contract was signed on 20 October 2021 and will end on 20 December 2022.
In May 2021, the UK Ministry of Defence had awarded Rheinmetall BAE Systems Land (the joint venture of Rheinmetall and BAE Systems Land UK) a contract to upgrade 148 CHALLENGER 2 MBTs to the CHALLENGER 3 configuration. The scope of measures includes improvement of firepower, C2 capability and protection. The decision to introduce the TROPHY APS was taken in June 2021. The objective of the Phase 2A trials now under contract is to investigate the performance and the integration withthe turret and hull of the MBT.
The TROPHY system has been in use with combat vehicles of the Israeli Armed Forces since 2011. At the beginning of this year, the USA equipped 400 MBTs with TROPHY. The German Armed Forces plan to equip 17 LEOPARD 2 MBTs with the systrem by 2023. The UK will be the fourth nation to use TROPHY. The upgraded CHALLENGER 3 MBTs are scheduled for delivery between 2027 and 2030 with the service life expected to last at least until 2035.